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Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill

Part of Prayers – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 11th September 2015.

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Photo of David Jones David Jones Conservative, Clwyd West 1:15 pm, 11th September 2015

I have the most profound concerns about the Bill, most of which have already been rehearsed by other hon. Members. In view of the shortness of time, I do not intend to repeat them. However, I also consider it to be a deeply flawed Bill. I will focus on three concerns that I believe are sufficient to persuade hon. Members not to support it.

First, although clause 1 provides that the person seeking the consent of the court must have

“a voluntary, clear, settled and informed wish to end his or her own life”,

the Bill is completely silent on what inquiries should be undertaken to establish how that wish has been arrived at. Mr Howarth made the perfectly reasonable point that it is possible to come to a rational decision that one does not wish to be a burden on one’s family. Equally, it is possible to be coerced, cajoled and browbeaten into that position, and the Bill provides no safeguards in that respect.